The country's export earnings fell to a negative growth in the first half of the current fiscal year, though it started with positive growth.
First quarter saw continued positive growth every month, but the first month of the second quarter started with negative growth. However, in November, the earnings returned to a positive trend.
The end of the first half of the current fiscal year's export earnings again saw the dark side of pandemic as it hit hard the country's main export earner: the readymade garment (RMG) sector.
However, jute and jute goods, home textiles, engineering products, and pharmaceutical products continuously witnessed a good growth in the first six months.
In December, the overall year-on-year export has experienced 0.36% negative growth, which was 0.76% growth in November, according to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).
The country received $3.30 billion in export earnings last month, which is 6.13% lower than $3.52 billion earned in the same month last year.
Due to the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, the apparel exporters are uncertain when their business would take a positive turn finally as most brands and buyers are not placing orders like pre-Covid era, said RMG owners.
"Apparel export fell due to the critical situation in our major markets created by the pandemic," said Fazlee Shamim Ehsan, CEO of Fatullah Apparels.
He also mentioned that the current order situations are not enough to run all their units due to the second wave of pandemic in the EU and USA.
"Buyers are being very careful placing any orders and bargaining the prices excessively. On the other hand, raw materials' prices have also increased," said Ehsan, also a director of BKMEA.
He hoped the situation would improve by March-April riding on the corona vaccine availability in the EU and the USA.
The apparel export was worth $15.54 billion, about 3% lower than the $16.02 billion export earnings in the same period of last fiscal, according to the EPB.
Jute and jute goods earnings enjoyed 30.56% growth to $668m in first six months, while home textiles earned $547 million with about 48% growth, engineering products earned $389.5 million with 57.47% growth, and pharmaceutical products secured over 17% growth to $148.43 million in the first six months.
While leather and leather goods growth falls by 6.24% to 446.13 in the first half of this fiscal year, according to the EPB.